Ohio proposal would label neo-Nazi groups terrorists

Illinois recently passed a similar measure

In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields, Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. (Alan Goffinski via AP)
In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields, Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. (Alan Goffinski via AP)

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) — Police in Ohio would be directed to recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations under a state legislative proposal.

The resolution was introduced Thursday by Democratic state Rep. David Leland, of Columbus. It follows a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed.

The measure would enable law enforcement to pursue such groups’ activities and whereabouts with the resources and attention devoted to domestic terrorist groups. Illinois recently passed a similar measure.

Republican President Donald Trump has been criticized for insisting blame for the rally’s bloodshed must be shared on “both sides.”

Leland acknowledged free speech is a “bedrock value” of America but argued such groups violate foundational national principles of “liberty and justice for all.”

The proposal’s fate in the Republican-dominated House is unclear.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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